"America" filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza and a Florida state senator who wants the new docudrama shown in classrooms told Newsmax TV
on Wednesday they're simply asking for the same consideration that public educators give to liberal documentaries.
D'Souza told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that he supports state Sen. Alan Hays' bill requiring Florida public schools
to screen "America: Imagine The World Without Her" for eighth- and 11th-graders.
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D'Souza conceded that his film — a celebration of America's role in history and a critique of anti-American arguments — is not objective insofar as it reflects his own point of view.
"But neither was Al Gore's film, 'An Inconvenient Truth' or Michael Moore's film, 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' and those are routinely shown in schools as an educational tool to illuminate people and to foster debate," he said.
Hays told Berliner that he's fine with classrooms screening documentaries that happen to criticize American actions or policies; he just wants balance.
"I want our students to be able to see that movie ['America'] and the facts that they're presented there, and be able to draw their own conclusions," he said. "And I've said from the very beginning, if someone else wants to show Moore's or Gore's films, then go ahead and show them. I am confident that the truth will win out."
Hays said he will introduce his bill in November.
He said objections to his proposal are coming from people, including Florida school teachers, who haven't even seen D'Souza's movie. Hays has seen it twice.
"I will ask them, 'What are you afraid of? The truth? Why don't you go out and look at the movie, and then you can make an informed analysis,' " said Hays. "That's what I want our students to be able to do."
D'Souza said the resistance stems from a leftist hostility toward America that he's trying to combat with the movie and its companion book.
"The left has constructed a kind of elaborate [negative] narrative about America, and they've been doing this for about 30 years," said D'Souza, "and they've worked really hard to dominate the universities, and then to let these ideas percolate out into Hollywood, [and] to some degree the media and the elementary and secondary schools.
"So it's not as if young people today are not getting politics," D'Souza said. "They're getting politics, but the politics is just labeled as history."
D'Souza said that when he first heard that Hays' bill would make screenings of "America" mandatory, "I flinched."
"But then I realized that this is not college," said D'Souza, noting that in public schools "all the courses you take, all the books you read, are mandatory."
"And all that Sen. Hays is saying is, listen, if you're going to get the the left-wing story on America, it's going to foster intellectual diversity and debate to hear the other side," said D'Souza.
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